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Vettel and Red Bull redefine perfection

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Andrew Benson | 08:53 UK time, Sunday, 9 October 2011

Sebastian Vettel climbed slowly up on to the nose of his Red Bull and, for the first time this year, raised two of those trademark index fingers in the air. That's two to indicate he is now a double world champion - the youngest in Formula 1 history.

It was appropriate, then, that the first man to congratulate him in person after the race was the driver who previously held that honour - Fernando Alonso, who finished second to McLaren's Jenson Button and ahead of Vettel in a captivating Japanese Grand Prix.

Third place was more than enough for Vettel to seal the crown with four races still to go. And if he seemed less emotional than he did after winning his first title in last year's nail-biting finale in Abu Dhabi that is almost certainly because this one has seemed inevitable since as long ago as the first qualifying session of the season in Melbourne's Albert Park seven months ago.

That was when the sheer, breathtaking pace of his Red Bull car - and the German's mastery of it - first became apparent.

What followed has been domination of the like not seen since Michael Schumacher and Ferrari in 2002 and '04 - the last time an extravagantly talented German was in a team whose resources, applied with ruthless efficiency, outstripped their rivals', and whose focus was primarily on their lead driver.

Vettel has won nine of 2011's 15 races so far, and taken 12 pole positions. His career victory total stands at 19. He could very well be on pole for and win every remaining race this season, which would raise his career wins total to 23.

That would leave only Juan Manuel Fangio, Niki Lauda, Jim Clark, Alonso, Jackie Stewart, Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost and Michael Schumacher ahead of him. Rarefied company indeed.

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Many of his victories this year have followed a simple formula - put the fastest car in the field on pole, use its pace in the early laps to build the gap required to ensure he cannot be passed by a rival at the pit stops, then ease off and maintain that advantage.

It was a strategy demanded by this year's new-look F1, for which new supplier Pirelli were asked to design deliberately delicate tyres to provoke better racing and more pit stops.

The German was praised for understanding very early on how to get the best out of those tyres. Undoubtedly he did, especially compared to team-mate Mark Webber, who also bore the brunt of the Red Bull's early-season reliability struggles with their new Kers power-boost system.

But it's impossible to judge whether Vettel was doing this better than leading drivers in other cars - and the main reason he was able to approach races in the way he generally did was that rivals McLaren and Ferrari produced cars that were not on a comparable level to the Red Bull.

How much better than its rivals was the Red Bull? That no other car has been on pole position pretty much sums it up - not even Schumacher and Ferrari managed that.

It was Vettel's running start to the season that killed his rivals - after six wins and two close second places in the first eight races, a second title already looked inevitable.

The Red Bull's advantage was often less dramatic in races than in qualifying - largely because of the tyres - and it was not always the fastest race car. He had to work for his wins in Spain and Monaco, where luck also played a major part in him beating Alonso and Button.

After that incredible early run, though, a mid-season wobble of sorts did give his rivals hope that the championship battle was not completely over.

Vettel was beaten by a rampant Alonso in Britain, following a one-off ban of a key aerodynamic technology called off-throttle blowing of the diffuser. And he produced comparatively weak performances in Germany and Hungary, although still finished fourth and second.

It was enough for Alonso, Button, Hamilton and Webber to head into the summer break still harbouring hopes of making a fight of it.

These were crushed in merciless style by consecutive victories in Belgium and Italy, perhaps Vettel's best of the season so far. After that, another win in Singapore took him to the brink, and the inevitability duly became reality at Suzuka on Sunday.

The weekend in Italy provided an illustration in microcosm of the foundations of Vettel's championship victory.

His breathtaking single-lap pace was demonstrated by qualifying on pole by a massive margin, and his sky-high confidence - founded on that speed - informed what team insiders admit was a risky decision to run a short seventh gear.

It was made in the pursuit of ultimate pace, but Vettel knew that the straight-line speed deficit it would give him could lead to a very difficult afternoon if he lost the lead from pole position - as indeed happened thanks to an electrifying start by Alonso.

Vettel then demonstrated his confidence in a very different way with a stunning overtaking move - around the outside of one of F1's toughest competitors at 200mph, with two wheels on the grass.

The Monza weekend also underlined how much Red Bull's performance this year has been rooted in a less glamorous, but no less important, requirement for F1 success - hard work.

On pole by half a second, Vettel was still at the track at 11pm the night before the race, poring over the data with his engineers, ensuring no stone was left unturned in their endeavour to win the following day.

While Red Bull had the fastest car, benefiting from chief technical officer Adrian Newey's unrivalled genius for aerodynamic design, their teamwork and work ethic were unsurpassed.

At the same time, there were a number of races - one thinks of Australia, Monaco, Canada, Belgium, Italy, Japan - where McLaren could have made life harder for Vettel only for the team or a driver (usually Hamilton) to make a mistake.

Vettel, though, rode his advantage in style to put together one of the most impressive seasons by a driver for years.

That he did so in a golden age in terms of depth of talent is all the more noteworthy. But while the combination of Vettel and Red Bull has been peerless in 2011, it would be wrong to assume the world champion is without rival as a driver.

While he is clearly out of the top drawer, it remains the case that, until he goes up against another great in an equal car, his absolute potential is hard to judge.

And an unscientific straw poll has revealed that most in F1 still believe Alonso to be the world's best driver, even if Vettel is widely thought of now as next in line.

Despite Button's superb season, Hamilton continues to be regarded as the other member of the 'big three' but his shaky season has meant his stock has fallen, and Vettel's stunning qualifying performances mean many now consider him, not the Englishman, to be the fastest man on the grid over one lap.

Put someone that good in a car as fast and reliable as this year's Red Bull, and have it run by a team as professional and slick as they have been, and the result is inevitable.

For the others, the gauntlet has been well and truly thrown down.


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  • Comment number 1.

    There will be the usual hype promoting next season's racing but it is papering over the cracks. Having exciting vignettes during races does not make up for the absence of excitement in the championship. Added to that will be 50% of the races with poor viewing figures and eventually the penny will drop with the main sponsors - F1 is no longer worth the money. Shame the same cannot be said of football (but that is for a different blog).

  • Comment number 2.

    Big congratulations to Vettel, and Jenson. A huge thank you to Japan for giving us as always, a great event, especially after the terrible events in March.
    Thanks to Bernie, the beeb and Sky for giving us the finger, after all the years of support, and taking our money.
    No to Sky

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    "And an unscientific straw poll has revealed that most in F1 still believe Alonso to be the world's best driver, even if Vettel is widely thought of now as next in line."


    This is getting really tedious now. If he is so good why has he not won a WC for 5 years!!!!

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi all,

    Thanks for the comments so far - and those that will hopefully follow. To number four, you don't want to know how the other drivers rank the best guys?

  • Comment number 6.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 7.


    Your point 5) is the most senseless comment I have read, both Jensen and Lewis have learnt from each other.

    Luck has not been with Lewis this season but to blame Jensen is about as silly a comment as you could make.

  • Comment number 8.

    >"While he is clearly out of the top drawer, it remains the case that, until he goes up against another great in an equal car, his absolute potential is hard to judge."

    This seems to be "the official line" on Vettel, but I don't buy it. In many races this season the RB was not the fastest car. (This one, for instance) And if the RB car is so head-and-shoulders above the rest, why hasn't Webber managed better than a couple of second place finishes this year?

    No, the critical factor this season has been the tyres, and the ability of the drivers to master going fast on them while also extending their life. Only Vettel had that knack for most of the season, though Button seems to have grasped it over the last five races. Hamilton, a very quick driver most seasons, has failed to get traction as Vettel and Button have. After Suzuka he commented on his difficulty in finding grip.

    With new tyres next year the deck will be re-shuffled and a different driver may rise to the top.

  • Comment number 9.

    Congratulations to Red Bull on having by far the best car this year, including the blown diffuser. Thankfully next year will see this particular piece of wizardry consigned to history.
    Is Vettel the best driver? Hard to say as he has had very little in the way of positional battles, he is certainly an excellent front runner. I've been a Hamilton fan since he came into F1, but this year has made me wonder where his mind is these days. One wonders if Button has finally turned the corner and is fulfilling his potential, he seems to have taken 10 years to become an overnight success!!

  • Comment number 10.

    Has been a great season so far, although many might not see it that way with one driver dominating so much of it. Seb is without a great driver although his car has been a match for him and the combination was unbeaable in the first half of the season and only in the second half have the other teams started to catch up in terms of raw car performance, although this seemed to be the same problem last year so hopefully they'll actually be as fast as Red Bull next season rather than just being talked up to be as fast.

    I guess though next season I'll be watching just half the races any way.

  • Comment number 11.

    I Still believe Alonso is the best driver on the grid, and if he was in a more competative car would challenging Vettel for the championship.
    Alonso is probably overperforming in the Ferrari!
    @4 Alonso was 1 point away from winning the Champioinship in 07 and narrowly lost out last he could easily be a 4 time world championship and that was with two seasons with a midfield Renault

  • Comment number 12.

    The Red Bull's front wing/nose wasn't doing its usual flexing trick today. And guess what - they are 3rd and 4th.

    Now doubt the trick will return until the season is won next year.

    If the FIA can actually enforce the rules properly on flexing aero devices, we might have an exciting title fight.

  • Comment number 13.

    #6: 'We are to loose F1 on tv'

    Yup, we sure do need to tighten things up - well said!!!

  • Comment number 14.

    Just finished watching the Red Button programme. The long interviews given by Jenson and Sebastian maybe show the reason they are at the top. They are both prepared to go the extra mile for their teams, both in driving and promoting their teams. Great race at a great venue. Even had a tear in my eye at the end thinking I won't be able to see it next year.

  • Comment number 15.

    >"Is Vettel the best driver? Hard to say as he has had very little in the way of positional battles, he is certainly an excellent front runner."

    That's the conventional wisdom again. I was reading up on LH's victories recently, and was a little surprised to see that there were few if any where he started in 10th place and passed everyone to take the win. I think that virtually all drivers who win a GP do so from no further back than a third place start.

    JB's win today, for example. Congrats to him on that win, btw. Nice to see him continue his recent run of form.

  • Comment number 16.

    #3 obviously wants to blame everything but Lewis for his own failings this year. I'm a fan of his style but the daft mistakes and some misplaced sense that he deserves to be winning cost him dear.

    Well done Vettel. Matured massively even since last year and delivered a performance every weekend. Red Bull also at the top of their game, rarely making the basic errors that McLaren managed at almost every round.

    Hope everyone competes a bit harder next year.

  • Comment number 17.


    WELL DONE SEB !!. . .

    ...du bist wieder Meister !!

    No stopping the young Vettel now, and its only over halfway. Can he go through and win the rest? Place your bets !!

    What of the rest?... Button has certainly been rejuvenated since switching to McLaren(though he won WDC with Brawn) while Hamilton less so, but I'm sure Lew will come good again.

    Is Webber on the wrong gear all the time? How can he not winning at all while his colleague is lording it at the top? A bit of a mystery, isn't it?

    Have you written yet to your MP about the despicable behaviour of the BBC about GP contract with SKY ???

  • Comment number 18.

    Well done to Jenson today nice drive and kept cool after having been pushed wide by Mr 2 fingers ,how did he get away with that only charlie knows. Talking of Mr 2 fingers it seems his domination of starting first and going around on his own has gone to his head as he really did not want Jenson in front hence the cutting into Jenson, then there was the incident involving the fist (not fingers this time) at a virgin driver.
    I think Jenson had every right to question Mr 2 fingers after the race and I thought Mr 2 fingers was as rude as a bbc employee especially as he had issues in monza with Alonso when he was on the grass, imagine if it was Hamilton who had done that at the start.
    Talking of Hamilton he seemed a broken man on Saturday and I was wandering what it could be that has turned his season into a his worse ever, and I am certain that not having his father and Ron Dennis around might have had this profound effect as they both have been with him all though his carrer. It must be very distracting to have all the media snipping at any chance they can get I think that took away a lot of pressure from Mr 2 fingers having the spot light shining on someone else.

    I must give credit to 2 fingers on becoming a double world champion regardless of the pain it causes me :( . No to sky and bbc yes to t4 had a bellyful of jake and ej but Martin and Ted well done.

  • Comment number 19.

    >"The Red Bull's front wing/nose wasn't doing its usual flexing trick today. And guess what - they are 3rd and 4th."

    They didn't have to be - I'm pretty sure Vettel could have passed Alonso to take second, if doing so would have meant anything. Anything from first to tenth would have done the trick for him.

    You have to admire him for making a race of it when he could have just quietly taken sixth place ... and the WDC.

  • Comment number 20.

    Perfection? Don't get me wrong, Vettel is good but he's not Senna. No one ever will be... Why always go over the top and forget what happened before? Just because the now happened after the past doesn't mean it is automatically better. Sport is not technology!

  • Comment number 21.

    thought after the first 2 sentences you were going to write something sensible and then you give only more 'I love Lewis' drivel

    1. Negative publicity. Live by the sword and die by it. He courts the negativity so he shouldn't be surprised when he cops it. He needs to grit his teeth, smile and get through. Say nothing so give them nothing to say.

    2. He's copping penalties becos he is over driving the car and making mistakes. When the margins for error are so slight he has to temper enthusiasm with patience.

    3. Massa. Are you mad? You think Massa wants to crash into him and ruin his own race? None of these guys are out there to make it easier for Hamilton. All the more reason he should be careful of those that cause him particular difficulty. These things are not stock cars.

    4. Yes from the team and a lot from the driver. But slagging them off won't improve anything. He just needs to get his head down and work with them.

    5. Button - average. You insult him and underline your own lack of knowledge about the sport. Hamilton would do well to learn from Button. His experiece has won him Grand Prix this year. There is nothing that Button can 'learn' from Hamilton. Hamilton's advantage over Button is his 'X Factor', that special something he can find within himself, like Senna did. But his ability to access it constantly means he is able to be beat by lesser mortals.

    Now stop wailing how the whole world is against your man and see him for what he is at the moment. A brilliant driver slightly losing his way, over compensating and blaming people while he tries to find it again. Hard work and committment to his team is his best option now. There is no place for him at Red Bull so he will just have to make do, and make more out it.

  • Comment number 22.

    1. A relentless negative media campaign.

    Granted. The the media coverage is getting ridiculous. But there's no doubt, that he has been involved in too many scandals and questionable events this year.

    2. Unfair penalties other drivers don't get.

    While I agree, that it's not fair to penalize a driver for his previous actions, I've to say, that Hamilton could not complain about the penalties he has received. Other drivers were banned for much less.

    3. Massa (in Alonso's pocket) trying to make contact with Lewis any chance he gets.

    You could say the same about Hamilton, while I agree, that Massa hasn't always been the smartest guy.

    5. A team-mate who started as average but has leared from him and applying that knowledge very well and is now very strong.

    What has Button learned from Hamilton? Button is a completely different type of a driver. On the contrary, Hamilton could learn something from Button, from how to handle the tyres to how to calm down and control the action instead of using the crowbar when things get difficult.

    Conclusion: Hamilton has made to many mistakes and stupid stuff this year. While other drivers learn from their mistakes, e.g. Vettel, he still seems to believe, that he has to be the best driver by an universal law. He could be the best of his era, but he clearly has to change his attitude. Until this might happen, I stick with Button, a true and very competitive "gentleman-driver", Alonso and my fellow countryman Vettel.

    P.S.: Don't forget, that many races in the last two years have been very tight. If Vettel would be nothing more than a striaghtforward driver, he wouldn't have won Monaco, Barcolena and Spa or the yesterdays qualifying. And Monza 2008 wasn't his only fantastic result with an inferior car. There's more to him than just the car, while I agree, that Button, Alonso or Hamilton would become Champion with a car as the RB7 as well.
  • Comment number 23.

    Great race, and great to see Jens maturing in his position.
    He will come out top at Mc, and his future is sealed there.
    As to AB's comment about Alonso, I don't think so.
    It takes a lot of elements to be No1.
    Seb has shown that this year and last. Jens the year before.
    Look at Alonso at McLaren, he was dreadful.
    Even Massa has made him look useless at times this season.
    And of course, apart from ability, the car, the team etc, you have to be likeable, and he isn't, in spades!
    Looking forward to rest of the season, with Jens securing second.
    Next season, I reckon I can get a foreign feed, stuff Sky!

  • Comment number 24.

    Excellent race today and it's been a great season to watch, Vettel has been unstoppable and so consistent that it's been difficult to see who could stop him. He fully deserves the title this season, noone's come close to his level this year.

    Excellent drive by Button to win today, he judged the moment to push hard at exactly the right moment it looks like after stopping at the pit exit. Got to hand it to Alonso, he just will not give up. Some awesome racing today, Massa and Hamilton wheel to wheel was brilliant, Sutil pulled off a great move into 130R. Schumacher got that tactically spot on today, I don't know if Rosberg ending up in front of Hamilton and Massa was luck or design to hold them up but great teamwork from him to get Mercedes a good set of points on the board.

    @3 Congratulations on your own completely objective comment there sent from your glass house.
    1- Clearly you missed the praise he received after China and Germany. You make a mistake, expect criticism.
    2- You break the rules you get punished. Buemi caused a crash and got a 5-place drop yet Hamilton had 20 seconds added to his Monaco race time which made no difference. Is it really all unfair?
    3- Think you'll find the contact has been caused by Hamilton, not Massa.
    4- It's happened to Button and Vettel too, it's not unique.
    5- And vice-versa, Hamilton can learn alot about race tactics and planning from him.

  • Comment number 25.

    @ #3 - In what sense does being a world champion upon arriving at McLaren make Button "average"? After Vettell, he's currently the best driver on the grid, and has given Hamilton a bit of a schooling ths season - let's not forget that if Button hadn't had two DNF's forced upon him, he would be even further clear of Hamilton (you can't make this argument of Hamilton as his two DNF's have both come about as a result of his own mistakes).

    I'm not anti-Hamilton at all, but I do think people need to give Button more credit as a driver. He's world class, and has been the only driver to consistently challenge Vettell this season. Hamilton needs to learn a lot from Button before next season starts.

  • Comment number 26.

    >"Vettel is good but he's not Senna. No one ever will be.."

    Yeah. If Vettel was Senna, he'd have deliberately crashed into Button and taken hm out, thus ensuring his own WDC victory.

    Senna was a skilled driver. And a dirty one.

  • Comment number 27.

    And just to add, the only statistic in which Hamilton has the edge on Button this season is in qualifying positions. Button's made more (clean) overtakes than every other driver this season, has won more races and has more points. Being quick over one lap doesn't automatically make someone a good race driver.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    @3 - you need to let the scales fall from your eyes. Let me dea with your points in turn:

    1. IF there is a negative press campaign against Lewis, it's entirely of his own doing. He is generally left looking sheepish after most qualiftying sessions and races because he knows he's driven like a nutcase Formula Ford driver.

    2. Other drivers don't get 'unfair' penalties because they don't spend so much time crashing into their competitors.

    3. It's interesting how Hamilton crashed into the back of Massa in Singapore, then almost had him off the track today (I assume he doesn't know what his mirrors are for). Yet you think it's Massa making contact with Hamilton.

    4. Various silly errors by the team have affected Button too. Indeed, they happen up and down the pitlane. Remember how Force India destroyed di Resta's race at Silverstone because of confusing radio calls. It happens.

    5. Button has been a Formula 1 driver for twelve years. If anything, Hamilton has been influenced by him, rather than the other way round.

    I'm all for people being a fan and having some loyalty, but you know you're in trouble when you have to resort to making things up.

  • Comment number 30.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 31.

    >"Senna was a skilled driver. And a dirty one."

    Don't confuse defending yourself against corruption with dirtiness. If Vettel was Senna he wouldn't have been switched to the dirty side of the track when on pole position just to appease Prost. Fortunately it seems that the F1 bosses don't have favourites like they had in the past and people can get on with racing...

  • Comment number 32.

    I disagree with you on Alonso. While the Ferrari had its moments, the car was very poor on hard tyres and very warm conditions. At times one couldn't even call Ferrari "third power" (don't know, if you use that term in Britain). Alonso was impressive in his best races this year, and in his bad races, he was still decent. For me there's no driver, who combines speed, determination, and serenity like he does. That's an effect of his age and all the experiences he has made, but that doesn't question his abilities. Vettel might get there someday. In fact I believe he will. This season was huge step forward for him. But for me Alonso is the most "complete" driver (again I don't know, if you his this term in Britain) in Formula One.

  • Comment number 33.

    Vettel is not a racer, as he can't overtake under pressure. He's very fast in a very fast car so wins pole, and then just leads from there. He cannot overtake like jenson and lewis and fernando. he is also dirty, he should have been punished today for cutting up jenson on lap 1. Double WC but not one of the all time greats by any measure.

  • Comment number 34.

    Personally I think that while Seb has had the skill to stick it on pole, and then scamper to the win, the real gems this season have come from the fact the 2-10 places in the drivers championship have been so close. If you look at the Schumi era, the 2-10 places were never so close, and it is rather telling that the 2011 season has seen such a mix up in the points. Racing this season has been fierce, tough, and often without compromise, and this is why the current era of F1 is so entertaining.

    For all the nay sayers re this era of F1, just watch races from 10 or 15 years ago, and realise just how fun the races are now. This season you have had maybe one or two 'boring' races, but if you bemoan F1 for what is now, I for one would not want the sport to regress to the uber domination of one team or driver we saw in the late 90's and early naughties. Red Bull might have the supreme car of the season, but the racing has been a lot tighter than we have seen at any point in the last 20 years.

  • Comment number 35.

    >"Don't confuse defending yourself against corruption with dirtiness."

    He punched another driver, Eddie Irvine, in the face. For daring to pass him on he racetrack! A great driver, Senna, no question. But he had real anger management problems. He does not deserve to be the patron saint of Formula One.

    >"Fortunately it seems that the F1 bosses don't have favourites like they had in the past"

    Indeed. In the modern era a driver who assaulted another driver would wind up in jail.

  • Comment number 36.

    both lewis and jenson are world class driver, infact us brits should revel in the fact that we have two top notch driver and be done with this hamilton vs button nonsense driven by media to create disharmony in the mclaren camp. Button have shown remarkable form this season and his brimming with confidence, his head also seem to be in a good place. He had his friends and family around him etc, he love mclaren, they love him etc. I stongly believe lewis have been the the victim of bad luck, questionable strategy call from mclaren and some times his own undoing. He is still a great driver and will regain his form sooner rather than later. What he needs to do is get his head in the right place, surround himself with the right people. I had the privilege of meeting lewis and he was very sweet and humble, he had plently time for us and he seem to have his heart in the right place. I wish both him and jenson the very best of luck in the future races.

  • Comment number 37.

    @5 Andrew Benson

    1) Don't I want to know it? You mention it at every opportunity.... how could we not know it?

    2) If, as you say, the drivers have said this I will bet the poll is from at least a couple of years ago. Vettel is a match for anyone right now. Button has also improved tremendously since 2009.

    You can only really judge drivers against their team mates. Why then does Alonso need a number 1 driver status and Massa as his subservient number 2? Ah.... 2007 holds the answer I think.

  • Comment number 38.

    If a Brit looks like winning the F1 title we're told he's in the best car and the F1 guys do their best to keep it going to the last race. If it's a German, we're told that he's the best driver around (and no mention of the best car) and it doesn't matter if it doesn't go to the last race in the series. If Hamilton gets forceful on the track he gets a penalty, if another nationality in a top car does the same, it's brutal but fair. I guess if Maclaren do well next year, then it'll be kept to the last race by any means. I guess too that this will be regarded as sour grapes but it seems to be the facts of past years.

  • Comment number 39.

    congrats seb, for a throughly deserved championship.the only issue is for me people are going on about him being the new schumi,but he has had the fastest car by a mile this,destroyed a average team mate,webber should be ashamed 4th in the standings with the fastest car(hamilton if it wasnt for the team and yes his mistakes he would be in 3rd minimum).on pole 3 times and unable to convert any of them.hamilton at the start of the year was challenging vettel more than webber(most front row starts after vettel).

    well done jenson a good win and deserve happy for him i think he is starting to shake of the 1 hit wonder tag

    As for hamilton,well what can you say up to second,comfortable gap to jenson(7 seconds i think at it max and 1.5 for the early laps from vettel,singapore vettel was 8 second clear of jenson after 5 laps)he burnt his tyres and a puncture and it got worse and worse from a massive hamilton fan it is not easy to watch him and more importantly the team make stupid mistakes under no pressure like 5.5 second for a stop,come the end of the season mclaren realy need to look at the engineers and the designers and strategists to see who is letting the team down and imo whitmarsh has to leave.hamilton has to decide whether he loves f1 any more,but has to suck up to this nobody stewards who have as much racing experiance as we do,or hang it up and his his life that f1 gave to him(he worked hard more so),i am not sure hamilton wants to continue f1,he is now struggling to mention the team anymore whereas every 5th word was about how hard they were pushing,something is not right with him,and it definatly not jenson button,please

  • Comment number 40.

    You can't even match the drivers against their team mates, unless you make clear, that such a statement can only be valid for certain conditions. For example the combination of Button, McLaren and Pirelli seems to be stronger than Hamilton, McLaren and Pirelli. Remove Pirelli from the equation and add (the older) Bridgestones instead, and things might change drastically.

  • Comment number 41.

    Congratulations to Vettel, though I am a little annoyed about his starting procedure, lights go green immediately drive toward the guy about to overtake him, squeezing him off the track. I like to call it the Vettel chop today wasn't the first time he has done it and it will not be the last. Until somebody just decides to not move over and cause an accident he will not be picked up for it. This season has lacked the championship excitement that the last season had. Don't know if the 2012 season will either as I do not want Sky.

  • Comment number 42.

    @Twirlip: agree with you, I detest all the obsequious hagiography surronding the memory of senna as if he were some sort of demi god. he was talented racer of course, but he was also a cheat, a dirty driver, and a bad loser. but pundits only focus on his driving skills.

  • Comment number 43.

    Congrats to Vettel, has deserved it since Australia. Great win for Jenson. Cannot wait until next year where I think there could be 8 or 9 drivers battling for the title. Vettel will be the man to beat. Jenson, Lewis, Fernando and Mark will also be right in there. Cannot wait to see what Robert Kubica can do in the Renault, best driver in 2010. Massa, Schumi and Rosberg could also get wins next year. Its going to be fascinating. But for me, Vettel will make it a hat trick of titles.

  • Comment number 44.

    @5 Andrew Benson commented.

    Is this the first comment you've added to one of your Blogs since the big announcement in July?

    Come on Andrew, you must read the comments so how about an acknowledgement that there are an awful lot of annoyed fans out here? Even if there is nothing you can do about it (apart from report it up to your bosses) it would be nice for you to admit we are here.

    No to Sky.

  • Comment number 45.

    >"He punched another driver, Eddie Irvine, in the face. For daring to pass him on he racetrack!"

    Irvine had been lapped by and Senna who was not being allowed to lap Hill. By un-lapping himself, Irvine put Senna behind an Irvine-Hill battle for a full lap costing him time. Preposterous!

    >"!Indeed. In the modern era a driver who assaulted another driver would wind up in jail."

    No he wouldn't, don't kid yourself!

    Anyway, if you can't recognise genius or understand the difference between authenticity and hot-headedness then I'm sorry you missed out on something very special.

    Moreover, my initial comment that seems to have got you riled was that "perfection" is too strong let alone a redefinition of perfection. Wow, did someone relocate the gates of heaven?

  • Comment number 46.

    Vettel doesn't inspire me. My own awards ceremony would be as follows:

    1. Most Inspirational Driving of the year - Jenson Button.
    2. Most Accident Prone - Lewis Hamilton.
    3. Most Improved - Michael Schumacher.
    4. Most Adversely Compromise by Own Team - Felipe Massa.

  • Comment number 47.

    Good job by Red Bull & Seb but close to perfection?

    Winning 15 of the 16 like McLaren in 88 is the closest to perfection by a team that I've seen, and they led the one they didn't win too.

    I love how Vettel when starting from the front just drives his nearest competitor off the road with no penalty and they ALWAYS give in and then bleat afterward.

    Great race shame someone at the BBC thinks The Dog in the Manger fable was a life lesson and not a warning. 50% of the races on BBC rather than 100% on Channel 4 is not a great deal for the public no matter how you try and push it.

  • Comment number 48.

    Great win from Jenson but unfortunately Vettel didn't go off the road while duelling with Alonso so we have to bow down.

    This has not been a vintage F1 season due to Vettel's dominance. From a British perspective it's also been a bit wierd seeing Jenson outdo Lewis in the same car. I'm a fan of both drivers and both of them are world champions, say no more. However I've always considered Lewis to be the better driver, and Jenson as a solid but unspectacular driver who was lucky enough to have an awesome car in '09.

    So the question has to be "what's gone wrong with Lewis?" I'm not buying the media campaign nonsense, that's par for the course in 21st century sport.

    Stewards...technically as DC and Eddie said before qualifying, some of the stunts Lewis has been involved with, the stewards were right to through the book at him, it's just the other drivers have dodged bullets. Not sure what the answer is there.

    I do think something's gone wrong with the guy mentally and that's tragic given how awesome the guy can be. The fact is, he wants desperately to be the British Senna, to him, Senna's way is the right way to drive no questions asked. Slight problem, the Prost-types(Jenson included) seem to have gotten the upper hand
    this year.

    Lewis needs to realise that you don't fall so far behind in the championship table and being well beaten by a theoretically inferior teammate without doing 'something' wrong. We all know he can do better than this. I just hope he sorts whatever off-track issues he says he has(because they are clearly affecting him) and give Vettel a serious headache next season.

  • Comment number 49.

    Just want to make a few comments firstly congrats to Vettel on winning his second world championship there hasn't been anyone so consistant this year, as well as congrats to Button it obviously meant a lot to him winning this race.
    A final comment in reply to @39
    hamilton has to decide whether he loves f1 any more,but has to suck up to this nobody stewards who have as much racing experiance as we do

    This season and last they have had experienced ex f1 drivers contributing to the decisions so they obviously have more experience than anyone of us, they also have the advantage of all camera angles and telemetry which we don't.

  • Comment number 50.

    1. Congratulations to Vettel for a commanding win of the drivers' title.
    2. Why is this turning into another Lewis Hamilton vs Jenson Button shouting contest? Maybe the BBC should create a forum where the respective nutcases, racists and similar characters who take sides in such madness can go shout themselves hoarse.
    3. Andrew Benson...Alonso the best? At what, exactly? The points table doesn't lie. Vettel has the best car, so I cannot really say he is the best: for me, at the moment, Jenson Button is the best driver among the lot by far, DESPITE the many errors McLaren have made as the championship has unwound.
    4. Am not a JB fan, in case any (of my fellow) Lewis fans pounces on me as yet more evidence of anti-LH bias.

  • Comment number 51.

    Vettel double world champ BLAR BLAR BLAR all Vettel has done this season is prove that u will win a world title if your in the best car and in so doing showing how second rate Webber is put another of the top drivers in his seat and i think the title would still be very much alive dont get me wrong Vettel is a quick driver but one of the best I THINK NOT if Red Bull give him a bad car next year like Mclaren did for Lewis in 09 watch Vettel through his toys out of the pram small example today waving his fist at a virgin driver while passing PATHETIC in some races you actually have to work at it he is to used to walking away at the front he is being called the baby Shumi he was a dirty arrogant driver and Vettel is heading that way the media are to busy biging him up to mention this but we the fans do thats why Vettel has been bood while on the podium many times this year just hope next year is far more interesting Bring back refueling get rid of this conserving tyres rubbish its just not racing NO TO SKY

  • Comment number 52.

    Congrats to both Seb Vettel and Jenson Button. The reason JB and FA are fighting for second place is because they have adapted their driving styles to the 2011 regulations, whereas LH has continued to believe his driving style needs no change because he is fast, aggressive and the best over-taker (to his mind) of the whole pack of F1 drivers. Speed on its own is not enough, and all the other top drivers have shown they are quite capable of producing stunning overtake manoeuvres - Seb on Alonso in Italy being one. Jenson has simply out-performed LH as the latter has been outwitted by JB's calm but very determined attitude and his smooth driving style. Alonso is still the best according to the other drivers, who are probably the best judges of their peers. Roll on Korea.

  • Comment number 53.

    You have shown you read these comments, you replied to my comment asking when Ben's blog will close a few months back. You need to get your bosses to read these blogs and all the other blogs since Hungary, show them what they have done, this does not require any gagging like the BBC have done. It is a disgrace on their continued silence and they are oblivious that they are going to destroy the image of F1.
    F1 is still overshadowed by this farce.
    Well done to Button and Vettel today.
    No to Sky.

  • Comment number 54.

    Well done Seb, very deserving double champ as he's clearly made the best use of his car all year. Great moment when Schumi pulled up along side him on the parade lap to give him a wave. Like me, Seb would of been watching as a little boy when Schumi was double world champ - incredible he is still able to compete and I thought drove blooming well to finish ahead of Massa today.

    I'm not getting Sky next year and really fear what the BBC has done will drive the sponsers out and end up killing F1, for me the only sport I love. Well played guys, cheers!!

  • Comment number 55.

    I'm truly mythed about some of the comments I'm reading that are almost slamming Vettel, despite an indomitable season. Sure he had the best car, but his domination in both qualifying and the races over Mark Webber as well as the rest of the field surely show how talented he really is. This weekend for example, McLaren had the match over Red Bull, yet Vettel still came out on top in qualifying. Now, we can rule that down to Hamilton not being able to deliver his final flying lap, but the cutting fact is that Hamilton failed to cross the line in time due to his own failure to watch the clock. We can blame teams and stewards if we wish, but at the end of the day, Vettel made far less fundamental errors than the rest of the field. His personal collaboration with Red Bull is what gave him the car he needed to completely out-drive the rest of the field and he therefore thoroughly deserved the Championship as well as his nine victories so far this season.

    On another note, was reading above that Hamilton was plagued by Massa trying to ruin his races this season. I will admit that there have been a couple of penalties which have been tough on Hamilton but if we turn back time to the early races in the season, he did make how-should-I-say, school-boy errors. Despite Smedley's message in Singapore, the bottom line is that Hamilton still turned in on Massa and not the other way around.

    Finally, I'd just like to say that this season would have been better (not from a Championship race perspective, simply from my perspective) if we had seen Robert Kubica on the grid this season. While the Renault faultered in the hands of Petrov, Heidfeld and Senna, we would have seen a great race for the 'best-of the-rest', as well as sometimes seeing Kubica mixing up the leaders in races and Qualifying.

    My end-note: Congratulations Seb, you well and truly earned it.

  • Comment number 56.


    Only thing I agree with you on is that it would be nice to see refueling return... the rest of what you say is utter rubbish - my opinion of course :)

  • Comment number 57.

    @Jack Connolly

    Well said sir!!

  • Comment number 58.

    Thanks for the comments so far - and those that will hopefully follow. To number four, you don't want to know how the other drivers rank the best guys?

    please tell us andrew :)

    Despite Button's superb season, Hamilton continues to be regarded as the other member of the 'big three' but his shaky season has meant his stock has fallen, and Vettel's stunning qualifying performances mean many now consider him, not the Englishman, to be the fastest man on the grid over one lap.


    yepp and they are right to think hes not part of the big 3... your wrong though many still think hamilton his the fastest over one lap despite vettel recent prowess...

  • Comment number 59.

    Chuffed for Vettel. He can only beat what is in front of him, and only race/develop the car Red Bull supply him with, so he is a worthy champion.

    However, with regards to racing, F1 needs to look inwards, and quick.
    Seeing drivers deliberately not driving the car to its full potential, to 'manage' tyres, is a farce.


    The whole point of F1 is person and machine, driving as FAST as they can, not driving slowly for 10 laps, then giving it some beans for 3 laps, it's a farce.

    Those involved in F1 may be too close to see it, but the Pirelli tyres couldn’t be more diametrically opposed to the ethos of F1.


  • Comment number 60.

    I guess, one has to say congrats to Vettel, even though as far as am concerned all this year shows is that if you are a decent enough driver (efficient) driver in the best car you will always win the F1 title. No talent required. I lost interest in the F1 this year about 2/3 months ago when it became obvious that Vettel was a run away winner. The question is, is next year going to be any different...the team with those I believe to be better drivers should sort themselves out...Mclaren, Ferrari. As for Lewis Hamilton, he is the most talented driver in F1 bar can still say that Alonzo is still the most complete driver....undoubtedly Button has benefited from having a consumate competitor with racer instincts like Hamilton as team mate, combine that with Button natural efficiency abilities, he's done better than Hamilton this year...also Hamilton needs to go back to basics...and try and learn something from Button as well, Button has certainly learnt one or two things from Hamilton...yes a lot of people accept that you are the most exciting and talented driver out there but talent without the ability to manage it is nothing...he needs to find a way of combining his obvious talents with other life skills....and a competitive car as well obviously would help.... get your Dad back in your corner, even if not as your manager but as just your Dad because I think he has missed having someone outside of the Mclaren team watching his back. The danger is that Button is gradually taking over the team.....which would be alarm bells for Hamilton....and to people that do not like Hamilton for other reasons other than racing ones, you should get a life! On the issue of F1 going to not particularly not a big fan of the Murdochs, but one can hardly say that BBC have made a strong case for themselves with their coverage, which has at times been shoddy, biased and I would't have to listen to the drivel from Coulthard and Irvine being cajoled by a presenter that look sometimes to be out of his depth. Shame the championship wasn't won by a Brit...Hamilton or Button it wouldn't have mattered. I remember a converstaion I had with a Real Madrid supporter business associate sometime ago, who was frustrated that Real Madrid didn't win the champions league....after all the ribbing he took from us......his last words were.... at least it was won by another Spanish team....Barcelona. It wouldn't have mattered to me if it had been Hamilton or Button...though I'II have to say Hamilton's talents deserve more than one championship...

  • Comment number 61.

    ohh and congratulations to sebastian vettel a beautiful wdc i love him his behaviour his humility and sincerity :) but he will need to do more to be remembered as a great champion :)

  • Comment number 62.

    First off, congrats to Vettel for becoming the youngest double world champion in F1 history. Whilst I don't think that he is necessarily the best driver, the combination of him and his team have created a deserved champion.

    In F1 all of the drivers are pretty capable otherwise they would not have got where they are. In an equal car, most of the time the difference between a very good driver (e.g. Rosberg) over a mere 'good' driver (e.g. anyone outside of the current top 4 teams) would be a few tenths at best. Occasionally F1 is blessed with a phenomenon- a driver like Senna, Hamilton (at his best), Alonso, or Schumacher (in his prime) to name but a few who are a further tenth or so faster than even the very good drivers. You also get drivers who display superb racecraft and know-how which makes up for possibly not having quite so much raw pace (e.g. Button). Of the current crop:
    Raw Speed- 1. Hamilton 2. Vettel/Alonso 4. Rosberg
    Racecraft- 1. Button 2. Alonso 3. Schumacher 4. Vettel

    Put simply, if either of the drivers listed were in Vettel's car I believe that they would have had a shot at winning this years title. Alonso and Schumacher (in his prime) are imo the best in the list as they managed to win world titles despite not having necessarily the best car. Hamilton's lack of good racecraft comes from not having served his time in a midfield or slow car like all the others. He is used to being in a frontrunning car and expects to lead every second of every race. I am a huge Hamilton fan but agree that he must learn from the more experienced Button that sometimes racking up seconds and thirds at difficult tracks can prove better in the long run. For me, Button has been the best driver since Canada when his inferior car (to Vettel) is considered.

  • Comment number 63.

    @ B194-Cosworth
    Yes we are entitled to our own opinion.......Where you born in Kerpin Germany ? : )

  • Comment number 64.

    Well done to Vettel, last year he had a bit of luck on his side, this year undisputably deserved the win. As you say Andrew, the simple formula has been to lead from the front, from the start, and ensure a big enough gap for pit stops. To my mind its produced a rather unexciting championship, but that's the way it goes sometimes. Though I hope the pattern isn't going to repeat itself for years and years.
    Suppose it's academic anyhow - those of us who won't/can't buy Sky are going to miss out thanks to the underhand dealings by the BBC. Thanks a bunch.

  • Comment number 65.

    Well done to Button and Vettel respectively their victories were well deserved, however I am a big Lewis Hamilton fan and hearing and reading about the criticism he is receiving is pretty shocking to be honest. In terms of the sport of F1 Hamilton and Alonso are the best two drivers, although Vettel has driven very well this year in the best car they are still the ultimate drivers.

    In terms of the Mclaren team yes no doubt Button has had a better season than Hamilton but no matter which way you cut it Hamilton is a better driver full stop. Fair enough Button has deserved some of the success he has had this year but he has had extreme luck in some circumstances and Lewis has had the exact opposite.

    For example, in Monaco the only reason Hamilton wan't on the front row and Button was is because of poor decision making by the Mclaren team. They sent Button out early to do a lap and for some reason held lewis back and unluckily for lewis Perez crashed causing the red flag and subsequently meaning that Lewis had to somehow put a pole lap together on cold tyres and so he started 9th on the grid. The issue with the stewards and Massa etc would never have happened while Button was free to fight at the front with no fear of being overtaken because of the Monaco track.

    Another example is Canada, no matter what Button or his die hard fans say he crashed Lewis out of that race the replay clearly shows Button looking in his mirrors and then moving to cut him off, some how Button himself didn't crash.....go figure, no doubt he went on to a great victory even though he collided with Alonso and punctured his tyre but some how got back to the pits when lewis was told earlier to stop with the same problem!

    In Hungary Hamilton was told to pit for the softs and the only reason Button didn't follow suit was because he was behind him on track and had to wait his turn giving him more time to assess conditions and gain info about the drivers who had fitted the wrong tyres, the rain literally played into Button's hands otherwise Hamilton would never have spun his car and got the drive through.

    In Monza Schumacher did everything in his power (illegally) to prevent Hamilton from getting past and when he put him on to the grass it allowed Button to get past Hamilton and then a few corners later Schumacher virtually allowed Button to pass him without and attempt to defend at all after so vigorously blocking Lewis!

    In Singapore Lewis got a puncture in Qualifying (where he looked very quick) and so lost a set of soft

  • Comment number 66.

    Congratulations to Vettel.

    Great drive from Jenson and fitting for the last Japanese GP we will probably be able to watch in full on the BBC.

    Yes to terristrial TV.

  • Comment number 67.

    Comments on Vettel: He is clearly an excellent driver but the difference between the top few can only be measured over a period of time and the by variety of circumstances they find themselves in.

    Comments on Red Bull: The car has been the best at key stages of virtually every race with Vettel's ability to exploit it particularly required on occasion. Reliability and consistency has been bulletproof.

    Comments on Button: He is also an excellent driver but when compared to others over the variety of circumstances and multiple races loses out to Alonso and Vettel by a small margin. Talent is not static, however and ability is always to a certain degree in a state of flux throughout a career.

    Comments on Lewis: Having spent large parts of my life working with athletes, he is clearly over-focussed and on the wrong part of his 'mind operating curve'. It isn't unusual in the super-competitive. A few wins and the problems will be history although may be his career defining trait.

    Congratulations to Vettel, well deserved!

  • Comment number 68.

    @3 - Absolute drivel - not worthy of comment

    @33 - Did you watch the Italian Grand Prix ??

    @34 + @36 - Refreshingly astute comments which I agree with

    Congratulations to Vettel on such a convincing championship win - Contrary to what many of the "experts" on this blog (most of whom will never have sat in, never mind driven a racing car) think Vettel is a rare talent for one so young. The only true measure, they say, is your performance against your team mate. Vettel has destroyed Mark Webber this year and if you doubt Webbers ability watch his move on Alonso into Eau Rouge at the Belgian Grand Prix.

    Congratulations to Jenson as well for an almost Prost like drive. He's in the ascendancy at McLaren and will have silenced many of the doubters who questioned his move to join the team two years ago. I think that many of Lewis Hamiltons problems stem from him not being able to dominate Button as I suspect he thought he would. The points table doesn't lie and Lewis is second to his team mate and isn't able to cope mentally with that fact. Lewis is one of the fastest, if not the fastest driver in Formula 1 today and needs to relax and start to enjoy himself again.

  • Comment number 69.

    11.At 10:36 9th Oct 2011, alonsoX2 wrote:
    I Still believe Alonso is the best driver on the grid, and if he was in a more competative car would challenging Vettel for the championship.
    Alonso is probably overperforming in the Ferrari!
    @4 Alonso was 1 point away from winning the Champioinship in 07 and narrowly lost out last he could easily be a 4 time world championship and that was with two seasons with a midfield Renault

    The 2005 & 2006 Renault was the best car in the Field. If Schumacer was driving that Renualt, he would have been as dominant as the 2002 season. Alonso is a great driver but he had the best car in 2005 / 2006 / 2007.

  • Comment number 70.

    Red Bull have easily the fastest one lap car as demonstrated by their 15 poles from 15 races, but not the dominant race car that Vettel's record would suggest. Circumstances have conspired to make sure no one driver has taken a challenge to Vettel. However, the race for the constructors could have been closer had their not been a number of basic errors at McLaren. Lots of driving errors from Hamilton, Button's early season qualifying form and some poor strategy calls on both Saturday and Sunday throughout the year has not allowed them to realise the maximum of the MP4-26. Button has now found the balance and has taken the fight to the field in the last 5 races while Hamilton has slipped backwards, massively. Meanwhile at Red Bull, Mark Webber has had a poor season with not one race win and being outqualified in 12 out of 15 races. This has definitely made it easier for Vettel to defend his crown if he can't even rely on his team mate to put pressure on him.

    Alonso has been consistent all year in the Ferrari, which has been decent, but hasn't had the pace to get more than one solitary win.

    Expect in 2012 the three teams to be much closer to each other.

    The one big reason why Vettel has cruised to the World title? Qualifying. Being on the front row in 14 of the 15 races has made the race to the flag so much easier. When never battling in midfield, it's so easy to do what he needs to get to the line first. The fact that he's had 12 poles from 15 has made it even easier. His team mate's starts have been so poor all year that he's barely had much of a challenge from the line. If he's pretty much leading after 1 lap of every grand prix, he's going to cruise to the title.

    Things will change in 2012 if other teams can lock out the front row at some races. It's all about finding additional qualifying speed for McLaren, as if they can do that, they'll be very competitive next year.

    However, Red Bull have not had one single reliability issue all year, which seems to have improved for all teams, and are the slickest pit stop crew and make the best strategy calls. All these vital points supplement the fact they've got the fastest car on the road.

    The details are small however and if McLaren and Ferrari could find the speed they need, they too would make less mistakes, especially driver mistakes which the Hamilton has been making when being impatient.

  • Comment number 71.

    Carried on from number 65

    In Singapore Lewis got a puncture in Qualifying (where he looked very quick) and so lost a set of soft tyres for the race meaning that he could not have another flying lap where he almost certainly would have been on the front row meaning that he started in fourth and got sucked into the pack after being blocked by Webber at the start while Button was able to have a care free race at the front with barely any threat of being overtaken on that track.

    In Qualifying yesterday Hamilton would have got pole but instead Mclaren sent Button out before him allowing him to get a quicker lap in and Lewis was left trying to create a bit of space but ran out of time. In the race today Hamilton got up to second looked strong behind Vettel and pulled out a 5 second gap between himself and Button but then suffered a slow puncture allowing Button to catch him and pass on to his eventual victory and leaving lewis to have to pit early and compromise his strategy and get stuck behind Massa and Webber when he would have been right at the front.

    There is no question that some of Hamilton's problems have been his own making but there are definitely some that were out of his hands and there is no doubt that Button have driven some great races this year but he has also had much more of the luck compared to Lewis. Also Hamilton's qualifying record this year has actually been pretty good, not only has he consistently out qualified Button and looked quicker, I would argue that his record is the 3rd if not 2nd best this year.

    The criticism is unfair and as soon as Hamilton's luck changes (and he gets a faster car for 2012) people will be singing his praises once again. Finally, is it any wonder that every uncertain situation or circumstance that could have gone badly or very well for Vettel this year it has gone very well and he has won the championship with 4 races to go, what will people say about Vettel's ability if situations go against him next year and he is not as competitive?

  • Comment number 72.

    What may make things more interesting is a complete driver change up. Is Hamilton responding negatively to Button's recent brilliance? While his achievement at McLaren be stifled with Button as his team mate? Button seems very happen at McLaren while Lewis, although every race praises his brilliant team, seems disconsolate. Vettel is facing no pressure from Webber, so a move to Red Bull may be a good one for Hamilton. I don't know.

    At Red Bull, however, they seem happy that they've got a driver in Webber who's not going to disrupt Vettel. It was a problem last year when they were so close, but now he's not even touching him, they're still going to win both championships. It's the perfect situation for Red Bull, although it'll become a problem when the other teams get closer or even overtake them for pace. They'll then need more from their second driver.

    At Ferrari, Massa's form has been abysmal all year. Not one single podium and although Alonso is a picture of excellence in the other car, there's no reason to be so lacking in fight and race pace compared to his team mate. Has he got a better result than him all year?

    Hamilton to Red Bull, Webber out?

    Kubica to Ferrari, Massa out?

    Raikkonen to McLaren, Hamilton out?

    I doubt any of this will happen, but it would definitely make the races more competitve, and interesting for us viewers.

  • Comment number 73.

    I totally disagree with people talking about vettel can win races only from the start!

    DOnt forget he won his first race with a torro rosso, while the likes of Lewis started their career in a Mclaren. SO, who is lucky? WHo had the best opportunity to win titles?

    Hamilton is not a racer, more often he makes a mistake and falls down the pack and he easily overtakes cars which is three seconds slower than him and sometimes even causes a collision like he did to maldanado!

    The best british driver in the pack is undoubtadly Button, and not Hamilton and hope mclaren understands this and pushes this overrated driver down the pack!

  • Comment number 74.

    First of all congrats to Vettel. Hardly a foot wrong all season so hats off.

    As for Hamilton - well it looks to me like the constant bashing from the media and ex-drivers have finally broken his spirit. When Hamilton burst on the scene he was just so so good. He may have started in a top team but still had to deliver and boy did he deliver. Unfortunately that brought out the jealousy in his peers and sniping from the British media who were so used to having to talk up serial losers like Bruno and Henman misinterpreted Hamiltons self confidence for arrogance. And when the F1 rulebook was turned on its head in 2009 and the up until then lovable loser Jenson 'the British gent' Button won the WDC Hamiltons fate was sealed.

    Of course he's still praised when he wins - as others have pointed out but it's clearly through gritted teeth. Button didnt really need any help to beat his temmate this seaon simply beacuse it's obvious that he (like Vettel) has mastered the management of the Pirelli tyres (the real bane of Hamiltons season despite the crashes) but the press did it for him anyway and I woudnt be surprised if (IMO) THE finest driver of his generation - and a BRIT will soon be leaving F1. Hope you're all happy.

  • Comment number 75.

    In case all you Vettel slammers had forgotten, Alonso had a dominant car in 05 and 06 when he won both World Championships. Lewis Hamilton had *probably* the fastest car in 08, and didn't have as much competition in the form of world class drivers (in my opinion).

  • Comment number 76.

    Alonso is the best F1 driver currently. That`s the opinion of the current F1 drivers. Not some no marks sitting behind a computer.

  • Comment number 77.

    I agree that Alonso is a brilliant driver. I just hate how everyone seems to think Vettel is completely carried by his car.

  • Comment number 78.

    Fair play to Seb. and Red Bull. He thoroughly deserved the drivers title this year. Given that there are few radical rule changes next year we could be looking at another year of Red Bull dominance....

    On the subject of F1 next year. People may not be aware that the BBC Trust have included the F1 TV rights sharing deal in their 'Delivering Quality First' consultation. Lord Patten himself has said in writing that no final decisions will be made until after the consultation has ended in December. So lets take him at his word. Get over to the BBC Trust website and fill in the online consultation!

  • Comment number 79.

    congratulations to vettel for winning the title and button for winning the race its just a travesty that due to the BBC selling out to sky most of us ie everyone that can not afford rip off sky might not see the championship deciding race in full and live as it might be a race the BBC does not show live thanks for that BBC and i will not watch highlights no matter how much it pains me to miss out on my F1 fix and i would rather wear a mclaren t-shirt than have sky and as a ferrari supporter thats saying something

  • Comment number 80.


    Why not give drivers NUMBERS for identification purposes, and paint their numbers on their car so we know who they are.

    At one point today, drivers in the middle created a bit of excitement, coming close and trying to overtake each, but unfortunately the commentators both stopped talking as I suspect they couldn't identify who the drivers were. Had the drivers had their own numbers on, we, the spectators could have easily identified them and there'd be no need for commentary at all.

    In these day and age of modern technologies, why can't cars be identified like they do in Horseracing? . . . that is, add Captions on with an arrow pointing at cars with the driver's name, eg BUTT or HAM, added on.

  • Comment number 81.

    Well done to Vettel. Great season for him & he deserves the title. Also a big well done to Jenson Button. I haven't been a big fan but he has come on leaps & bounds this year. He's performed better than his title winning season. Hopefully Lewis Hamilton will get things sorted behind the scenes. To me he his the best F1 driver out there. As for Sky getting F1, like most I'd love to keep it all on the BBC but it aint gonna happen so get used to it. Unless the recession ends soon there will be other things like this happening. And even Sky doesn't have bottomless pockets. If the viewing figures don't add up they will drop the amounts they are prepared to pump into sports like F1.

  • Comment number 82.

    @78 timn1971 wrote
    ''On the subject of F1 next year. People may not be aware that the BBC Trust have included the F1 TV rights sharing deal in their 'Delivering Quality First' consultation. Lord Patten himself has said in writing that no final decisions will be made until after the consultation has ended in December. So lets take him at his word. Get over to the BBC Trust website and fill in the online consultation!''

    Just to add to this, the link is

    No harm in trying, it's not over till it's over. Imagine if BBC don't have the rights to show the deciding races live and in full in the coming years. Deferred highlights are a joke.

  • Comment number 83.

    @80 matt-stone
    They already do carry their numbers, it's required by 21.2 of the sporting regulations to appear on the nose of the car. They also have to carry the driver's name on the livery. The on-board camera housings are also different colours between the drivers in the same team, one red and one yellow, to help tell the difference. For example Hamilton has a red camera and Button has the yellow one.

  • Comment number 84.

    Congratulations to Seb - not a driver I like particularly, but I think he has matured considerably this year.

    I think Lewis' loss of form is not so much all the negative media he has developed a knack of attracting, but the fact that he has a team-mate that not only challenges (and beats) him, but who has also gelled well with the team, something that Alonso never did when at McClaren. I think Lewis has been at McC for too long, and needs a chance of scenery.


  • Comment number 85.

    well done vettel , he has been great and held his nerve this season. I still think button , hamilton and alonso can mount a challenge next year. Let's hope lewis gets fairer treatment from the stewards next year.

    It is sad the sport is moving to sky , i hope sky will at least keep the same commentators. Not sure i will be able to handle the amount of adverts i'm sure sky will have , god i hate adverts.

  • Comment number 86.

    Why on EARTH would Red Bull put Hamilton into the team? Those two scrapping for number one spot would be a disaster. Never going to happen, ever. The next driver to take Webber's place will be one of the two Torro Rosso drivers or, and more likely, Daniel Ricciardo who looks the next best thing to come out of Red Bull.

    Hamilton is not the fastest driver in F1, why do I keep hearing/reading this? It's ridiculous. Button has been a more consistent driver over the whole season and deserves number one place at McLaren.

    As for Webber, he is a classy driver. Unfortunately, like Hamilton, has had a torrid time with his car incl KERS, DRS.. the way he drove in Belgium shows you what he has, not to mention leading the most races last year. He's at the other end of his career, have some respect for a great driver.

  • Comment number 87.

    Saw the race this morning and thought if only there were more races this season where Mclaren and Ferrari put Red Bull under pressure then things may have been different or Mclaren did not have their mid season blip for Button

    Excellent drive by Button throwing the guantlet down to Vettel and winning in the dry when some blind fools keep making some sort of conspiracy or luck excuse for his wins.

    Thats 5 races in a row now he's beaten Hamilton and with podiums where Lewis has not managed one which is quite unbelievable

    If anything Jenson should use that helmet because he has his best races when he wears them

    Post No 3 speaks absolute drivel from someone who probably watches F1 since 2007 or by association of Lewis Hamilton with Arsenal.

    if someone like Murray Walker who has watched 60 years of F1 openly admit Lewis Hamilton has not had a good season because some of it is down to his mistakes then clearly he knows what he is on about

    As for the negative media reaction does not help if he decides to split from his dad and does a stupid burnout in front of the police at one race or has been saying he wants to make a brand for himself like David Beckham. It shows in his attitude and teaming with someone like Simon Fuller where he clearly is not focused on the race track.

  • Comment number 88.

    Wish Vettel was a bit less likeable as it would be easier to be disapointed by his 2nd world title win, cant take anything away from the guy though,,,,,,,,,,,, except the blown diffuser next year :) shame i wont be watching.........speaking of which i got my MPs reply and tried to post it on Murrays blog last night and guess what its still under consideration, i'll say this though the reply was quiet pleasing and the issue has been raised with the Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport.

    NO TO SKY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Slightly off topic but i recieved

  • Comment number 89.

    Post No 3 is one said bitter person that wants to find excuses why Lewis Hamilton is not winning

    You say Jenson Button is average ..he 's doing a bloody good job to make Lewis Hamilton look like an amateur at the moment because he's learnt more from Lewis than Lewis has from him.

    Jenson is happy to admit Lewis is one of the fastest drivers he's ever faced but he gets his head down and concentrates where it matters on the race and not some sort of bragging rights about qualifying which people like you use to bombard the 606 board every Saturday about

    At least Jenson got the brains to know to concentrate on his job and perform compared to Alonso who acted like a a cry baby against Lewis or Heikki who was just a nice bloke but simply not good enough

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    If you compare the big 3 in F1

    Vettel - fast but has the best car and therefore its easy for him BUT he has not made mistakes like he did last season . Although question marks about him being able to overtake was answered with the move in Monza on Alonso.

    He thought Alonso was being too aggressive which was rich coming from him given he forced Button on the grass and last year tried to do a few wall squeeze moves at the start - a la Schumacher

    Hamilton - in the 2nd best car and clearly the best passer in F1 but at the moment he's overcompensating his poor quali or his frustration and ending up in tangles with too many drivers. If everything goes well for him like CHina and Germany then he is supreme but unfortunately this has not happened enough this season. He has lacked consistency this season

    Alonso - in the 3rd best car and probably more than 0.5 - 1second slower than the Red Bull per lap but he keeps picking up the points

    When the car has got closer to the front he's there to challenge the Red Bulls and Mclaren. When the car is slightly further behind he's still in contention for the podium

    I don't like Alonso's attitude but he 's been doing what LEwis Hamilton has not this season and make sure he finishes the races and pick up points

    I don't think a lot of people realise how poor a car the Ferrari is in comparison to Mclaren and Red Bull

  • Comment number 92.

    Just as I start gaining more and more respect for Button the guy goes and spoils it by moaning about a driver being too agressive, today it was vettel, few years back it was Kobyashi and in between he's complained about a few other. I dont want to see drivers moving over and letting people by I want them to be agressive and I totally hate it when these millionaire drivers complain about someone being too agressive.

  • Comment number 93.

    @65 and 71....
    Yes, Hamilton has had some bad luck this championship, but sometimes you make your own luck as you make your own bad luck....the sudden media attention focused on F1 since Hamilton's emergence have made some of the other drivers and indeed some former drivers resentlful of Hamilton....MSC's behaviour in Monza was inexcusable....especially moments later Button literally walked past him....what MSC did unfortunately was to confirm to the watching viewers including non F1 regular viewers the overall resentment towards Hamilton by even the drivers....I watched that race with a number of people, most of whom I would say couldn't care less who wins F1 title...but everyone found MSC or 'that driver's' behaviour was left to people like me to explain that 'that driver' was MSC.

    Part of Hamilton's problem was sealed in 2009 when Button won the title and subsequently decided to move to McLaren.......something must have swithced in Button's brain that suddenly gave him the impetus to convince himself that he could compete in F1 and ditch the title of the usual 'British good loser'.......this would not have been a problem if Hamilton had been the dominant one most of the season....... as it turns out business needs demands that McLaren focuses more energy on the driver likely to win them the title this year.....People saying that McLaren are about to ditch Hamilton don't understand how business works.....McLaren has been spending money on Hamilton since he was think the various experts employed by McLaren that identified Hamilton as a special talent got it wrong? no, they didn't.....My advise to Hamilton is that he needs to find a way of accomodating Button mentally, especially when Button is outperfoming him.
    Vettel is a very good driver and undoubtedly in the top three drivers in F1, I believe behind Alonzo and Hamilton. Am not sure Red Bull would wan to disrupt what they have now by bringing Hamilton to Red Bull.....has history has shown when you have two very competitive drivers in the same team things can get tetchy....need I list them, even in recent F1 history.

    Is Hamilton going to be forced out of F1 through frustration and alleged racism, I hope not......he needs to knuckle down and prove the doubters wrong...

  • Comment number 94.


    Comment 3:

    1. A relentless negative media campaign;
    i agree with this comment

    2. Unfair penalties other drivers don't get;
    i don't agree with this one, because all the penalties Hamilton has acquired this season are fair, the only thing that is unfair is that other drivers that do the same incidents dont get penalized like he does.

    3. Massa (in Alonso's pocket) trying to make contact with Lewis any chance he gets;
    uhmm well after that radio call came in, yes we can agree that he has him in his pockets but either way i think Massa would've done it to any driver, no just Hamilton so...

    4. Various silly errors from the team;
    agreed with this comment also

    5. A team-mate who started as average but has learned from him and applying that knowledge very well and is now very strong;
    well this also true but no in the way you portrayed it here, i mean in the sense that now Hamilton having a very bad season is having to compete with a Button who is very much becoming very consistent and skillful driver (with a hint of luck involved but every driver needs that) but this can not be in anyways be Button's fault, Hamilton is a professional and should know how to handle pressure from a team mate who is getting the better of him simple.

  • Comment number 95.

    Congratulations to Sebastian Vettel on a well-deserved Double WDC, and congratulations to Jenson on a fantastic race win today.

    I was also very impressed by the openness, charm and eloquence exhibited by both SV and JB in their post-race interviews, both are great ambassadors for the sport, in my opinion.

    Just one point that no-one else seems to have picked up on: Jenson won by only a second from Fernando Alonso, and stopped immediately by the side of the track, to save fuel and leave sufficient for post-race scrutineering. We had a safety car in mid-race, so the cars were in fuel-saving mode for four laps, so how marginal was Jenson's fuel load for the race, and would he have been able to race to the end in the absence of a safety car?

  • Comment number 96.

    a very deserving champion, but i really don't understand all the hyperbole.. vettel's speed trap in quali at Monza was 203.6 mph. so he simply was NOT going at 200mph when he overtook Alonso on the grass on pretty much full tanks. if he was going 150, it's fast enough, so why lie about it? even Brundle screamed, "two-hundred-and-TWENTY miles-an-hour" at one point in the race. what? get real! the truth is impressive enough

  • Comment number 97.

    Im looking forward to next season on Sky, I've no doubt they will give F1 the coverage and analysis that will improve it, look at what they have done with football, cricket etc. Just look at the BBC's coverage of football, Jonathan Pearce as lead commentator? Please. If only they put more effort into sport and cut some of the junk such as dancing on ice etc, etc.

  • Comment number 98.

    Part of Hamilton's problem was sealed in 2009 when Button won the title and subsequently decided to move to McLaren.......something must have swithced in Button's

    great point but i do not think this is a problem for lewis... as ive always said he doesnt care about jenson...
    the issue lewis has to sort out is his mentality and accept things and move on
    i honestly think that button or buttons speed doesnt bother lewis even though i admit jenson has taken the number one spot in the team... but not by his performances on the track...

    now its remainded to see what mclaren owners want to do in the future... the elements that we get dont help us that much but i still think lewis is considered a more valuable property...
    it would be interesting to see the details of button contract because the lack of informations seems to suggest that everything was not as rosy as button and his friends want us to believe...
    if lewis wants to stay at mclaren then i believe he has some support within the team ... but time will tell...

  • Comment number 99.

    After a fantastic Season It saddens me that I will not be watching any race next year.
    The BBC have done the dirty on the F1 race fans.
    Therefore I will not be watching full stop.
    This season had some fantastic wheel to wheel racing, next year will no doubt be the same.
    I may be cutting off my nose to spite my face, but I do not see the point unless I can see the whole race season - and I will not be paying SKY.

  • Comment number 100.

    noahsark @93 & Adam T1 @65 and 71....

    'Yes, Hamilton has had some bad luck this championship, but sometimes you make your own luck as you make your own bad luck..'

    The difference is that much of Hamilton's 'bad luck' on a Sunday has been self inflicted (crashing into others), unlike Button who had DNF's at the British & German GP's caused by a technical issue & pit stop error i.e. NOT self inflicted.

    Without those the WDC, whilst it would still have ended up with Vettel, would have taken a couple more races to secure.

    To all the doubters, the fact is Button was ALWAYS, at the very least, the equal of Hamilton. This was proven when he finally got a car capable of regular race wins in 09. ALL the drivers would struggle to deliver without the machinery.

    Congratulations to Vettel.


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